clear
Thursday July 30th, 2015 6:11AM

NIH chief: Cuts put vital medical research at risk

By The Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Better cancer drugs that zero in on a tumor with fewer side effects. A universal flu vaccine that could fight every strain of influenza without needing a yearly shot.

Research into potentially life-saving products like these will be delayed and newer discoveries shelved if Congress can't avert impending budget cuts that the director of the National Institutes of Health warns will have far-reaching effects.

"All diseases will feel the consequences, I'm afraid," Dr. Francis Collins told The Associated Press.

"We're in this amazing revolution," Collins added. The faster promising leads are funded, "the more lives are saved."

The NIH, the leading funder of biomedical research, will lose $1.6 billion this year, about 5.1 percent of its budget, if automatic cuts go through next month. Collins said.

That means hundreds of medical research projects around the country may go unfunded, while multi-year projects already under way could be scaled back. The ripple effect, Collins said: About 20,000 jobs nationwide could be lost in university and other research laboratories nationwide.

NIH's budget hasn't kept pace with inflation over the past decade, resulting in what Collins calculates is a 20 percent erosion in the agency's buying power during a time of unprecedented scientific discovery. A decade ago, NIH was funding about 1 in every 3 grant applications. Today that's dropped to 1 in 6, before the upcoming cuts.

President Barack Obama argued the economic value of preserving medical research in his State of the Union address, saying every dollar the government invested to map the human genome returned $140 to the economy.

Other health impacts from the planned cuts, as outlined in a letter to lawmakers by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius:

-Health departments will give 424,000 fewer tests for the AIDS virus this year.

-About 7,400 fewer HIV patients will be able to get life-saving medication through the AIDS Drug Assistance Program.

-The Food and Drug Administration will conduct 2,100 fewer inspections of food manufacturing firms this year.

-More than 373,000 seriously ill people may not receive needed mental health services.

Also, Medicare is slated for a 2 percent cut in payments to service providers. Hospitals and popular private insurance plans through Medicare Advantage and the prescription drug plan will feel the biggest impact. They will be reimbursed at 98 cents to the dollar for services to Medicare beneficiaries.
© Copyright 2015 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
S&P 500 index has its best year since 1997
The stock market closed out a record year with more all-time highs on Tuesday, giving U.S. indexes their biggest annual gains in almost two decades.
6:56PM ( 1 year ago )
Colorado readies for 'Green Wednesday' pot sales
Police were adding extra patrols around pot shops in eight Colorado towns that plan to allow recreational sales to anyone over 21 on Jan. 1.
1:52PM ( 1 year ago )
Kerry seeks framework for Mideast peace talks
A senior State Department official says Secretary of State John Kerry will try this week to get Israel and the Palestinians to agree on a framework for negotiating a final peace agreement, yet cautions against raising expectations for Kerry's latest round of shuttle diplomacy.
1:35PM ( 1 year ago )
U.S. News
Ethics laws set to take effect Jan. 1 in Georgia
After dominating much of the legislative session, a set of major ethics reforms is scheduled to take effect Jan. 1.
7:04PM ( 1 year ago )
Sex offender held in Hall County for failing to register
A 47-year-old man was booked into the Hall County Jail Tuesday, being held without bond for allegedly failing to register as a sex offender, his second such arrest.
6:09PM ( 1 year ago )
Pharmacy robberies may involve same suspect
Oakwood Police Tuesday afternoon released details in a pharmacy robbery they're investigating, similar to one that happened in the Hall County Tuesday morning.
5:46PM ( 1 year ago )
Local/State News
Asian stocks mixed after Fed leaves rates unchanged
BEIJING (AP) — Chinese stocks held steady Thursday following this week's turbulence while other Asian markets were mixed after the U.S. Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged at a record low.KE...
12:52AM ( 5 hours ago )
Then & Now: Medicare and Medicaid turn 50
WASHINGTON (AP) — When President Lyndon B. Johnson signed Medicare and Medicaid into law on July 30, 1965, roughly half of Americans 65 and older had no health insurance."No longer will older American...
12:01AM ( 6 hours ago )
Planned Parenthood seeks fed study of fetal tissue research
WASHINGTON (AP) — Under fire for its role in providing fetal tissue for research, Planned Parenthood asked the government's top health scientists Wednesday to convene a panel of independent experts to...
8:57PM ( 9 hours ago )
Average US vehicle age hits record 11.5 years
DETROIT (AP) — In the age of Apple's CarPlay, a lot of cars on the road still have tape decks.The average vehicle in the U.S. is now a record 11.5 years old, according to consulting firm IHS Automotiv...
7:01PM ( 11 hours ago )
Los Angeles leaders outlaw high-capacity gun magazines
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The nation's second-largest city is poised to ban possession of firearm magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition, stepping into the national debate over gun regulation...
6:13PM ( 11 hours ago )